Tigerville, S.C. - Ron Patterson put the first and last runs on the board for the Tornados, hitting a solo home run in the first and scored the winning run in the top of the 10th and senior Jacob White recorded his first win of the 2011 season as Brevard defeated North Greenville at Ashmore Field on Tuesday afternoon, 5-4.
Brevard (4-3) was led by Patterson as the senior left fielder went 3-for-4 from the plate and scored twice as the Tornados avenged a season sweep by the Crusaders last year. Ethan Pressley and Derek Ham added two hits apiece for the game and BC starting pitcher Jacob Koontz went five innings in his first action of the season, allowing three hits and one run, while striking out three.
Derek Fulmer led the Crusaders (4-3) with a 3-for-5 performance, driving in a pair of RBIs, while scoring twice himself. The junior left fielder added a solo home run and a double as the Crusaders fell for just the third time this season and just the second at Ashmore Field. Starter Michael Benjamin went six innings for the Crusaders, allowing seven hits and four runs, while striking out four.
The Tornados struck first in the top of the first inning as Patterson jumped on the one-out offering from Benjamin, driving it over the fence for his first home of the season and second in his Brevard College career, staking the Tornados to the early 1-0 lead.
North Greenville would strike back in the fourth as Taylor led off the inning with a double. Fulmer followed with a base hit, advancing Taylor to third. Koontz was able to force Lawrence into the 6-4-3 double play, but Taylor crossed the plate to knot the game up at 1-1 after four innings.
The Tornados would respond in the top of the fifth, plating three and taking control of the ball game as Christian Christopoulos led off the inning with a base hit. After advancing to second on a Benjamin wild pitch, Kramer Clark brought him home with an RBI double. Zak Beard’s sacrifice bunt moved Clark up to third, where he scored on Alex Bedenbaugh’s infield single. Bedenbaugh eventually came around to score as well, crossing the plate on Derek Ham’s base hit as the Tornados took the 4-1 lead.
Kevin Hamilton took the mound for the Tornados in the bottom of the sixth and retired the first two batters before Fulmer caught a pitch up in the zone, lifting it over the left field fence to cut the lead in half at 4-2, but the freshman right hander retired Lawrence on a grounder to end the inning in limiting the damage.
The Crusaders tied the game up with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on White (1-1). Anthony Foulk led off the inning with a walk and scored two batters later as Fulmer drilled a double over the centerfielder’s head, to put the score at 4-3. Fulmer advanced to third on a passed ball and came around to tie up the game on Lawrence’s sacrifice fly to left as the relay home was too late to catch Fulmer at the plate. White limited the damage by retiring Tyler Callicutt on strikes to end the inning.
Nate Richards (1-1) and White traded scoreless ninth frames, sending the game into extra innings, where Brevard struck in the top of the tenth. Patterson reached on a two-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The throw down to second base by the NGU catcher sailed into centerfield, moving Patterson up to third base. Ethan Pressley chopped down on a ball a few pitches later, hitting a slow grounder in the infield and the sophomore right fielder was able to beat the throw at first base, allowing Patterson to score from third and giving Brevard the late 5-4 advantage.
Alex Litaker came in relief for the Tornados in the bottom of the tenth and pitched a scoreless tenth frame in picking up his first save of the 2011 season as Brevard recorded the 5-4 victory.
The Tornados continue on the road this week as they head to Anderson, S.C. and Anderson University for their first South Atlantic Conference baseball weekend of the 2011 season. The Tornados will take on the Trojans in a nine-inning contest on Friday, February 18th, at Memorial Stadium with first pitch coming at 6 p.m. The series will end on Saturday with first pitch of the doubleheader coming at 1 p.m.